Friday Foodstuffs 4.29.11: Spring Festival Time in Cape May

Seriously, is there ever a bad time to go to Cape May?

I don’t think so.

Starting this weekend, and running through May 8, it’s going to be an even better than usual time to head down there. It’s the annual Spring Festival, and they didn’t forget about you fellow food enthusiasts out there.

You can’t have a festival in Cape May without the presence of local wine. Starting tonight and running though Sunday, it’s another installment of a Wine Weekend. The Cape May Wine Weekend consists of a wine tasting dinner at The Washington Inn Friday night, a tour of Cape May Winery on Saturday, and then a wine class back at the Washington Inn on Sunday. The wines featured on Friday will be the wines discussed during the Sunday class. Each Wine Weekend has its own theme, and for this weekend it’s “Summer Sippers”, so expect some light and fruity wines. UPDATE (12:04PM): Just got word from Cape May MAC that the Friday and Sunday events have been cancelled.

But the drinking (responsible drinking, that is) doesn’t stop there. During the week, you can attend a Winery Cellar Tour and Tasting at Cape May Winery. The winery has this available almost every day during the festival. You can also enjoy a special Mad Batter Wine Dinner on Friday May 6 at 7:30. The theme for the wine dinner is “Out of the Ordinary”, and you will be sampling wines from lesser-known varietals.

For those of you who like chocolate, and haven’t gotten sick of it from Easter, there is a Chocolate Championship Tour and Tasting tomorrow from 1PM to 3:30PM. Enjoy taking  a tour of Victorian inns while judging their homemade chocolates. And if you complete your evaluation card, you will be signed up to receive special recipes by email.

Can I mention one more event? Yes? OK. On Thursday May 5, a five-course Chefs’ Dine Around dinner will be served by a selection of restaurants throughout Cape May. The evening begins at 6PM, and a trolley will take you from course to course – so you can simply relax and enjoy.

Although it’s not officially part of the Cape May Spring Festival, there will also be wine event going on at Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House tomorrow. It is the Cape May County Wine Festival Fundraiser for the CMC Zoo, and if you have ever been to the Cape May County Zoo, you know that it’s a worthy cause to support.

There’s lots more on tap for this weekend in South Jersey. Tonight at Renault Winery, it’s a Culinary Classics II – Grill Sensations dinner; cocktails begin at 6:30PM, and dinner is served at 7PM. One Saturday, there’s a pretty full slate. The big, boffo Somers Point Bayfest on Bay Avenue starts at 10AM and goes until 5PM. For the beer lovers in the audience, you have the option of either enjoying the Saizanne Release event at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Maple Shade, OR, attend the Spring Craft Beer Fest in Mount Holly – an event hosted by High Street Grill. The Bayshore Discovery Project in Port Norris (and Bivalve) is having a special oral history program called “Bringing Bivalve to Life” from 2PM to 4PM. A good ol’ fashioned Down Jersey Chicken Pot Pie Dinner will be held at the Salem Friends Meeting Annex from 3PM to 7PM. And at the Bridgeton Library, it’s Bratwurst and Books. With people depending more and more on libraries, while funding for libraries continues to be cut, it is even more important for us to show our support.

Cinco de Mayo is still unos dias away, but why wait? Bellview Winery in Landisville is having a Cinco de Mayo Celebration this weekend for only $5 a person.

AND…the next monthly Epicurean Society of Southern New Jersey Dining Event is Monday at the Laguna Grill in Brigantine Beach.

Here’s your cooking class schedule for the weekend:

Tonight: Great Restaurant Recipes of New York at Sur La Table in Marlton.

Tomorrow: Spring Pies and Tarts at Sur La Table, Best of Class: Chocolate and Classic Steakhouse at Viking Cooking School at Harrah’s in Atlantic City, and Ladies Night Out! at Kitchen Kapers in Moorestown.

Sunday: Mother’s Day Cupcakes from Start to Finish at Sur La Table, Champagne Brunch at Viking Cooking School, and Kids in the Kitchen – My Favorite Muffin at Kitchen Kapers.

Blogging Out Hunger

The Lakewood BlueClaws and FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties have been holding a food drive this week. The last day of the drive is Sunday.

And the wonderful story of Live Civilly, founded by three very young sisters and their parents, continues to unfold: they now have started a food bank in Moorestown.

And in the news this week…

For those who have been wanting to see more local microbrews here, this is going to be a great year. From Jeff Linkous’ excellent Beer-Stained Letter blog, Cape May Brewing Company will be brewing their first batch of beer next month, and Turtle Stone Brewing in Vineland may be up and running by this summer. Awesome!

Buy me some peanuts and…spanikopita? This year, when you go the Camden Riversharks home games, you will be able to enjoy some Greek cuisine at Kuzina Express, run by the folks at Kuzina by Sofia in Cherry Hill.

Under the ‘I did not know that’ category, the plant that produces the most Silk soy milk is the WhiteWave plant in Bridgeton.

Under the ‘there’s a special place in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks for these people’ category, the Free Meal Center in Cape May County was robbed…again.

Where were you on the night of April 21? If you were at The Pop Shop in Collingswood, you might have been exposed to measles.

And Gilchrist Restaurant, which had moved to Galloway Twp in 2007 after a 60-year run in Atlantic City is coming back home.

Have a great weekend!


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